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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Goodness is Good

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt



“Do you think you will go to Heaven when you die?” That is a question that most people think about at some point of their life. The most common answer given in various forms is, “Yes I think I’ll get into Heaven because I’ve tried to be a good person.” And then the list of good things and qualifications they have done spills like words on a glowing resume’.

What qualifies someone to be called a "good person?" After all Jesus said to someone who had called Him good - "Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17) What was Jesus saying? Was He calling himself bad - that even He didn't qualify as good? No, not at all. He was qualifying that He was God come in the flesh. He was also leading this man to truth - that all mankind has failed in their ability to be good. Romans 3:23 says,”For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.”

He was also showing this man how to resolve this problem - "but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments." Jesus was saying that the way to resolve this issue of "there is none good" - was to receive Jesus personally as Savior. When that happened, he would be washed from sin and covered in Jesus’ righteousness – that which makes us “white as snow” in God’s eyes. And he’d then have the Holy Spirit to teach him within his heart, all of God’s ways and strengthen him in spirit to "keep the commandments" - or keep God's ways. The bottom line – God wants us to make the effort to “be good” by obeying His ways, but in our shortfall, His gift of righteousness makes up for our shortfall and failures in our efforts.

When we understand this and take these steps and yield ourselves to God - then goodness can grow within us like a nurtured plant grows and produces fruit. This is the foundation of and the beginning of the road to goodness.

God wants us to be energetic in our pursuit of goodness because it is one of God’s ingredients that make this world a richer place to live. But don’t worry; like I did yesterday, you will blow it. Instead of the goodness you desire to see flow from your life, you will have experience those occasional moments that make you feel ashamed before God. Don’t let it discourage you. Ask God to forgive you. Realize that true goodness comes only through the help of God. Be energetic to make things right, to get things right, and to let people be touched by the goodness of God working through you!

Titus 2:11 (Message Bible) God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

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